NOUNS in English


There are several different types of nouns in English. Here I have just given a basic idea of the main categories, with links to more specific descriptions at the bottom of this article.


A proper noun is simply the name of a particular person, place or thing and is recognized by a Capital Letter at the beginning:. For example: London; Elvis Presley; the Niagara Falls; Australia; Sunday.


These are used for people, animals, places or things in general, and do not need a capital letter. For example: dog; table; lesson; language; house.


Are names for things that you can see and touch. They are objects, people, places and things that physically exist in the world. For example: Arms; legs; bus; chair; window; grass; flowers, etc.


Abstract nouns are not touchable. They are the opposite of concrete nouns. They are the names of feelings and things that you cannot see or touch. For example: Love; hate; atmosphere; thoughts; ideas; loneliness; friendship; truth, etc.


Countable nouns are names of things that we can count, and they can have both a singular and a plural form. For example: a book – many books; 1 tree – 3 trees; a horse – a few horses; a woman – several women.


Are the names used for things that we cannot count, and so they have ONLY a singular form. For example: Water; air; sugar; milk; wine; meat.

  • NOTE: When a noun is uncountable, we don’t use a number or an indefinite article (a / an) in front of it. Instead we use the word SOME. For example: Some bread, some water; some people.

These are used for groups / collections of people, animals or things: For example: A family; a team; a crowd; a committee; an orchestra; a gang.

  • Some groups have their own special collective names. For example: A herd of cattle; a bunch of flowers; a deck of cards; a pride of lions.

This is when two nouns are joined together to form one. Sometimes they are written as one word, at other times they have a hyphen between them. For example: Bedroom; haircut; breakfast; shoe-polish; father-in-law.

GERUNDS (Verbal Nouns)

A gerund is a verb that acts as a noun. It takes the same form as the present participle of the verb (i.e. it ends in “ing”) but it is being used as a name for something. For example: I enjoy dancing. (Dancing is a gerund because it is the name of something I enjoy doing).

NOTE the difference between:

  1. My favourite exercise is jogging. (This is a gerund. Jogging is being used as a noun because it is the name of my favourite exercise.)
  2. I am jogging faster now than I used to because I have been training. (This is the verb “to jog” in its present continuous form.)

For more information on the different types of nouns and how to use them,
click on the links below.

Related Content:

Grammar – Your Dictionary: Parts of Speech – Types of Nouns.

Macmillan Dictionary: Types and forms of nouns.

Oxford Dictionaries: Words – Nouns.

Wikipedia: Noun class.


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